Saturday, August 21, 2010

Green Beans with Cashews and Vinegar Dressing

Alas I am still home alone for a few more days and so I'm still cooking for one frequently. I have to work this evening (it's Saturday) so I decided to make a hot meal for lunch while I have the time. I am only slightly embarrassed to say that I got this recipe from the back of the green bean package at Trader Joe's, but hey I'm being honest here! This is the best recent preparation of green beans that I've found in a very long time. This is in fact the third time I've made these beans in as many weeks and I can't wait to make them as a side dish for J when he gets back.

I have a big binder where I keep all of my favorite recipes that I make on a regular basis. This includes recipes that I've made up as well as ones I've found online or in cookbooks, but including various changes and alterations I've made over time. I have a whole section of the cookbook just of interesting ways to make vegetables. Sometimes I use those recipes as side dishes, and often I use them as the main dish along with some sort of grain or protein or something. My favorite vegetables tend to be kale, green beans and broccoli, and this recipe is now one of the big stars of the whole cookbook section. You are going to LOVE these.

Start with 1/2 lb of green beans, trimmed and broken in half. I made this portion for one, so double it if you are making for more people. You can use regular green beans or, as I did here, use those small French green beans. Steam the beans for 5-8 minutes until tender. I check (as in taste) these often while they are steaming because I like them at a very specific consistency. They should still be crunchy, but not raw. You can cook them how you like them.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. white wine vinegar and 1 tsp. dijon mustard. The recipe called for a bit of chopped shallot, but since I didn't have that on hand, I used the white part of one scallion, minced. When the beans are done, toss with the dressing and season with black pepper. Since this was my whole lunch, I decided to also add a few toasted cashew nuts, which was delicious. The dressing is tangy with the vinegar and the onion flavor and the sweet buttery flavor of the cashew works perfectly to offset the tanginess. Delicious. I just had to share right away while the flavor is still in my mouth!


  1. Here's another green bean recipe from a while back. It's super yummy, really easy, and I often use frozen green beans to make it.

    Algerian Green Beans with Almonds

    1 lb fresh green beans
    1 Tbsp canola oil
    1 clove garlic, mashed
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp paprika
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1 Tbsp slivered toasted almonds

    Clean and trim green beans.
    Simmer in lightly salted water until just tender, about 30-45 minutes.
    Drain and put in serving dish.

    Put remaining ingredients (except almonds) in a saucepan over medium-low heat and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

    Add the almonds and stir briefly to coat.

    Pour the oil mixture over the green beans and toss gently until beans are thoroughly coated. Serve warm.

  2. We made this when you visited me in Brooklyn, right? I remember this but haven't made it in ages! Thank you for reminding me!!

  3. Yup- when you shared an apartment. It was delicious, and I made it with mom when she was here. It's a great and really simple way to totally dress up beans. I'll have to try this other recipe.